The [O]perator

Mar 1, 2011

On its own, the Visionary management style is not enough to get a business out of Early Struggle and into Fun.

For an organization to get to Fun, the stage of initial high-rate growth, the ‘V’ style must be supplemented by the [O]perator role.

The ‘O’ provides the task-oriented management style that is a needed accompaniment to the forward looking ‘V’.

The ‘V’ and ‘O’ don’t have to be different people – they can be the same person (or group of people) exhibiting different management styles at different times. More typically, however, the Visionary works closely with one or more ‘O’s – highly task-oriented, short-term-focused, results driven individuals who’s job it is to come in, get their marching orders from the ‘V’, then get out there and execute.

‘O’s provide execution – they’re very targeted and results driven, with a ‘Let’s get stuff done’ attitude. Leaving the ‘V’ free to dream and create the vision, the ‘O’ is ‘out there’ executing: getting it done.

The ‘V’ and the ‘O’ work well together. They are symbiotic, and need each other – the ‘O’ needs the marching orders from the ‘V’, and the ‘V’ needs an ‘O’ to implement his or her vision. They enjoy working together, and together, the ‘V’ and ‘O’ build the early myths and legends of the organization as it grows through the Fun stage.

Typically during Fun, the ‘V’ is planning, developing the market, key relationships and supplying the ideas. The ‘O’ is getting things down, closing the sale, getting the materials, taking them to the site, completing the job, making sure the customer is happy, then on to the next project.

The ‘V’ and the ‘O’ are highly codependent and together they make an exceptionally effective team. They’re also indefatigable. Once a ‘V and an ‘O’ get it into their head that they are going to achieve something, it’s very hard for anyone to stop them – together, they’re close to being an irresistible force: that’s why the organization grows so quickly during Fun.

The ‘O’ style is typically:

  • Task-focused;
  • Energetic;
  • Results-oriented;
  • Short-term;
  • Fast;